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Not what I expected

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I got out of the hospital today and I'm out at My Aunts house for the recovery process. What was suppose to be a 3 day stay ended up being 5 days with the first 4 being the most painful and pain I have ever felt. My tolerance is so high with medication it took 4 days to get the pain under any reasonable control. I had to have a Cather put in three times because I could not urinate. That put so much pressure on my spine that I went into 2 anxiety attacks and started hyperventilating because of the pain. I was on the demerol pain pump for 4 days with no pain relief, which gave 10 mg every 10 minutes. They would then give 50 Mg through the IV with no relief. I cant even remember how many different drugs I was given to relief the pain. After the last anxiety attack My NS was there and finally ordered Oxycontin (20 mg) which was a little effective and then she ordered the highest dose allowed within 12 hours, which is 80 mg. That was the trick that finally worked and I asked to be discharged. The night before My NS asked if I wanted to be discharged and I said no. I'm glad I picked her as She left it up to Me to be discharged. I still have a Cather in for another week, which is kinda cool cause I dont ever feel the need to urinate (haha). So as of now Im on 80 mg every 12 hours, percocet's for breakthrough pain, Valium to help Me sleep, some kind of muscle relaxer and finally flomax for the urinating problem. But Im alive and I thank God for that.


  • Hope your pain gets better sooner than later. What kind of surgery did you have? Did they tell you why you are having urinating problems?
  • Wow, glad you are home recovering. So sorry to hear you had a difficult time. Remind us what surgery you had, was it lumbar fusion? Is the urinary problem a nerve issue or from all the narcotics? What were you taking pre-op for pain. I am a nurse and I have never heard of using demerol in a pain pump. We use dilaudid and rarely morphine. In fact our pain nurse hates demerol and tries to get the docs not to order it. It breaks down to a metabolite, normeperidine which is very bad. Anyway, I am glad they finally found something that works for you. The first two weeks are definitely very difficult, and then it gets better. Remember to measure progress week to week, as day to day is too soon. Follow all your doctor's instructions and get lots of rest. Keep up on your meds even if you need to set an alarm. Hang in there and keep us updated.
    >:D< Cali-Sue
  • So sorry you went through all of that. What were they thinking giving you demerol??? OH ME OH MY.
    I'm surprised like cali they even gave you that in a pain pump. Thats odd :O :O :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop:
    I remember just my hernia repair. They could not figure out why I kept needing a shot in the recovery room HELLO demerol is not working. I was up to 125mg before I zoned.
    They are getting away from that here to. Using mainly dilidud in the pain pumps.
    Well at least your home is right!!!! I'm still so sorry you had a hospital that would even put you through that.
    Last yr they messed with my drugs and such I don't remember a thing I was so zoned. So I must of been comfy even though my family said I screamed my head off.
    I ask for diludid under all circumstances now. Don't touch me if you have nothing else to offer :D

    Keep us up to date on how your progessing!!!
    Take care and hang in there. And P.S. yeah its kinda fun not having to go to the bathroom every 30minutes =)) =))
  • Hi there,
    I am also sorry you found this traumatic.

    I too can relate to the over edge pain...my 2nd & latest surgeries I came round like this. Not sure if it was done on purpose to titrtae my meds but it bloomin hurt. I was stiff as a board and could barely breathe but after 20 mins the morphine started to calm me down.

    I have had 3 surgeries, all slightly different responses to the pain and meds afterwards. My body couldn't tolerate too much morphine, my BP very low and so vicious cycle. (morphine lowers BP as does bed rest)

    What surgery was it?

    I wish you a speedy recovery. >:D<
  • until we actually go through it, it's rough.

    I'm just assuming here that you had a fusion by the estimated length of stay. It's not uncommon for people with high tolerance to have some pain management challenges. I'm also a RN and we phased out Demerol like 10 yrs ago!! Like do you live in a small town? Just wondering out of curiosity.

    What also is unusual is if whatever is in the pump doesn't work we change it and try something else. Most of our docs and mine too order some sort long acting pain med routinely after fusions. Well all of that is neither here nor there. At least now you can refuse Demerol in the future as you know it doesn't work!!

    Hopefully your bladder was being lazy or from the meds after surgery and not nerve related I wouldn't worry about any of that quite yet. Sometimes especially for men after spinal surgery it's just a matter of swelling and those problems are just temporary :)

    Hang in there glad you have your aunt for support walk a little more each day and try to stretch your legs with an ankle bend while your in the bed.

    Take care!!
  • I had a PLIF in the L5-S1. The good ole 6 inch incision kind with 25 staples. Yes I do live I a small town as well. I know they gave Me dilauda alot but even that didn't work. I guess We are all different in the med department. I made the mistake of falling asleep without taking My meds tonight and paid the price for it. Im ok now since they kicked in, otherwise I wouldnt be typing right now.
  • That's odd... Dilaudid is stronger than Demerol.

    That is also a LOT of staples for only 6 inches. Jeez. Are they close together?

    I hope you feel better soon :( Recovery the first couple weeks sucks!
  • lol, I went through 3 of the Demerol pumps while I was there. I'll add ya Lo to Myspace whenever I check it tonight. Have not logged in since I was home before the hospital.
  • Dilaudid makes me vomit and Percocet lowers my heart rate to much...I got morphine in the recovery room and something else that night...but I don't remember what. Demerol used to work...waayyyyyyyy back when the pain first started. I thought that was intramuscular only though? Must not be. I had it in an iv once and it knocked me out for 3 days. That's when someone told me it is supposed to be intramuscular. Sounds like you had a hell of a time, hope things get better soon. >:D<
  • Sarah, demerol is given IV all the time as well as IM. It is very popular to give it IV in the recovery room for shivers as well as pain. It isn't a very good drug cause it builds up in the system and has more side effects. I work in a large hospital in a suburban area and we have never used it in a PCA pump. There are some old-timer docs that still want to use it, such as one that still orders it IM with Phenergan for post-op ceserean patients. Get out of the dark ages already 8} :))(
  • Cali-Sue said:
    It isn't a very good drug cause it builds up in the system and has more side effects.
    Well that would explain why it knocked me out for 3 days.
  • Glad to hear that ordeal is over and now you can get back to recovering! I hope that you have a nice mixture of meds that keeps you relatively pain free and sane simultaneously. I am going in for 2 level lumbar fusion on 11/21, and am hoping that all goes well for me. To tell you the truth the two things I dread the most are the catheder and being alone at night in the hospital. Anyway I digress, GLAD that you have made it to the other side of *that* mountain!

    One Love,

  • Isn't L3-S1 three levels, not two? L3-L4,L4-L5, L5-S1?
  • Don't worry about the catheter. You won't know when they put it in...they usually wait until you are knocked out. And it is absolutely painless when they take it out! So mark that off of your stress list, ok?
  • Stephanie, don't worry either about being alone at night. You will probably be medicated enough while in the hospital to the point that you won't know if anyone is there or not. I know I was alone at night, but I really wasn't "aware" of it. So mark that off your list too.
  • Oops! Lo, yes l3-S1 would be 3 levels. I wrote it down wrong. l3-4 has some issues but is not going to be fused. Just 4-5 and 5-1

    Joy, I have had catheders before and I just hate them. Thanks for the well wishes though! :)

    One Love,

  • I loved my catheter. They put it in after I was asleep and I couldn't even feel it afterwards. They took it out the day after surgery, and oh man, I tried to talk them in to leaving it, but no. It doesn't hurt coming out, but I had a new nurse and she got pee everywhere and had to change my bed, LOL. I gave her a few pointers on how to avoid that next time :))( .

    Stephanie, don't worry, you won't feel alone. The nurses and aides will come in your room so often, you'll wish they would leave you alone ;) . You might ask if you can have one family member spend the night if you are really concerned. I know my hospital has fold out cots for that purpose.

    JGrillot, hope you are doing better, taking it easy, resting and walking. Take care everyone, >:D< Sue

  • Well they put the cather in after surgery when I was awake. Like i said I had to have it put in 3 times in the hospital. Now I know women have babies but for a man to have one put in and taken out is nooooooo fun. I mean cmon, We have a small pee hole :jawdrop:
  • Hey JG ,
    Taking the cather out was _ell !!!!! I am kicking back reading the post about how the cather does not hurt... and I am thinking are u guys nuts! Anyway glad we got that straight !
  • I had to have a Cather put in three times because I could not urinate.

    My brother inlaw also had the same problem. It is odd! I am sorry that the pain was so horrible :''(
  • My NS said it is common for Men because of the sphincter(spell check) muscle. Right now I am doing better than I thought I would be. The meds works great and I'm able to walk more and thats what I need, to rebuild those muscles. My NS said she had to cut My back muscles because they were so tough. I'm not too sure everything that she did or used but I'll ask Her Tuesday when I see her for the first follow up and get the staples taken out.
  • I wish you a speedy recovery and to be pain free. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I must say, I am doing way better than I thought I would at this point. I can walk around pretty good too. Of course I dont do the BLT. I wear the bone stimulator early in the day to get it out of the way, since You are suppose to wear it for 4 hours. You can wear it at intervals but I just rather get it over with :D. The whole bowel movement part is going good too. When I was in the hospital I didn't have one till the last night after drinking 3 cups of warm prune juice and man lets Me tell You, I had the biggest smile on My face when it finally happened =)) , it reminded Me of the commercial that says something is priceless, something like:

    PLIF= $10000
    Hospital stay= $2500
    Prune juice(hospital price)= $30
    Having a bowel movement= Priceless :))(
  • Your right JGrillot, we would pay $30 for hospital prune juice just to get some relief =)) =)) =)) That is hillarious!!!!! :))( =)) That stuff tastes sooo nasty too :sick:
  • I never did drink it before that. To Me it tastes like drinking rasins.
  • They make something now called Plum-smart, much tastier. Of course the hospitals never have the good stuff :P .
  • LMAO at the priceless joke. :))(
  • Well luckily for Me, I didn't have to pay for anything in the hospital, since workers comp is footing the bill :>
  • This is My back 2 days after I got out of the hospital, notice I'm using the walker

    I had this taken last night when the bandage was being changed, notice how fat My back looks, hehe
    I am healing very good and I dont even need the walker anymore, for using the bathroom and walking. I can sit and get up now with almost no pain are problems now.
  • yea I know, My butt crack is showing :D
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